The public is invited to the Murfreesboro Greenway System Phase 4 ribbon cutting on Friday, October 23 at 10 a.m. at the Barfield Crescent Park trailhead.
The Stones River Greenway extension follows the West Fork of the Stones River from Old Fort Park to Barfield Crescent Park and included four phases. Phase 4, which is approximately 3 miles, connects the terminus of Phase 3 just past the Cason Trailhead to Barfield Crescent Park. With the new addition, the greenway now connects two of the three largest city parks along with Cannonsburgh Village, two dog parks, and the Stones River National Battlefield.
“The greenway provides a venue for active lifestyles as well as connecting the community with an alternative transportation option,” said Rachel Singer, Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department Assistant Director. “The trail also serves as a vital corridor along the river for wildlife to safely use while moving from place to place, which is important in our fast growing, fragmented community.”
The initial design process included public meetings to receive input from the residents affected, and the original design was revised several times. Keeping the river in view was a challenge, but a priority in the design of the trail. An old road bridge was incorporated as a scenic river crossing, and using an existing neighborhood as a trailhead provides greater accessibility. Three river crossings with two steel bridges and three new trailheads easily accessed by nearby neighborhoods accompany this section. Each trailhead offers parking, trash receptacles, map and rules kiosk; two trailheads also offer interpretive panels about the local fauna and flora.
This section follows the West Fork of the Stones River through limestone bottom river and tributaries, hardwood forest, and cedar glade-like environments. Mature trees, native wildflowers, and rock outcrops dot the landscape to make an enjoyable corridor through multiple habitats. Wildlife such as great-horned owls, bobcats, and deer are observable along the meandering asphalt trail.
Greenway trailheads open at daylight and close ½ hour before sunset. The trails at Gateway Island are open 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.
For more information about the Murfreesboro Greenway System call Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department at (615) 890-5333.